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August 9, 2013 - 3:03 AM

To Wear or Not to Wear: Birkenstocks!

A long time ago, I used to be a hippie. I think that it may have been the result of having watched The Beach one too many times... (Like most girls my age, I was infatuated with Leo. Finding it on Netflix is a dangerous proposition.)
 
Anyway, I was angry at the World. I organized protests and volunteered in Central America. I wore beige cords, t-shirts with political slogans, and … Birkenstocks. I honestly thought that period of my sartorial life was over, but now…
 
We’re witnessing a Birkenstock resurgence! Thanks to Phoebe Philo at Céline (who paraded these babies below on her Spring 2013 runway), famous bloggers like Garance Doré and Leandra Medine came out of the closet as Birks fans. We have even gone digging for old photos of the ever-so-cool Kate Moss wearing them in the 90s.  
 
 Céline "Birks" photo by Gianni Pucci, style.com

Yes, the shoes we love to hate have suddenly become objects of desire in the collective fashion conscious. What were we thinking????
 
Honestly, though, are Birkenstocks that bad? In past articles, HERE and HERE, we at TPL have happily admitted that they’re ideal for travelling. They’re comfortable, they come in a variety of styles, and they’re relatively affordable for a quality made shoe.

Though, some of us are, in fact, infamously averse to the granola-happy sandal (ummm… Josiane), so much so that others have to hide their Birks in her presence. (See her LOLzy post HERE.)
 
Still, Céline’s fur-covered reiteration sold out faster than the latest iPhone. The Man Repeller believes that the trend is part of the current 90s redux. Indeed, it’s probably true that nostalgia fuels our fascination with the sandal. However, overall, fashion is moving towards slightly awkward, utilitarian footwear.

Check out these styles as proof! 

See details of the board HERE

I’m actually partial to weird shoes. I always have been and always will be. (I once even owned a pair of sneakers covered in sequins and an American flag pattern!) So, I like this new offering of oddball, slightly orthopaedic styles on the market. I’m just not sure if see myself I wearing Birkenstocks, but I do adore Marni’s red and black sandals (above). They’re more early ’00 tech than Nirvana grunge. (Besides, they don’t remind me of a past phase that I would like to forget…)
 
I do admit that my hesitation may indeed be a question of man repelling. Mr. Sartorialist himself, and Garance’s partner in crime, refused to buy her the Céline Birks for her birthday. Likewise, my better half and personal Schuman, commonly referred to as Pits, does not approve of them either. Birkenstocks sadly remind him of women with hairy legs (a sad connotation that I wish did not exist). I’m assuming that the common male shares this opinion??

Yet, then, tonight, as I was talking about this article with him, he said that there may be some instances when Birks are O.K. Is he changing his mind as well? What's going on?!

How to Wear Birks (without looking like a granola lover): Details HERE

He said that he would like to see me in an all-black pair, with a black sole, in matte leather. He would wear them with a more athletic, tech inspired look (like the one above). Pits, who is very fashion savvy, then gave me this whole speech about the revival of trends and about how they need to be interpreted within a new context to feel current. (I could not agree more, but I will leave that for another time…)

So, perhaps the key to not looking like you just came back from a foreign exchange while wearing your Birks is to pair them with an athletic look, instead. Maybe…
 
Meanwhile, how do you feel about Birkenstocks? I know that they can be a dividing topic…